Saturday, September 24, 2011

Why vests are best

I'm all packed up for my trip to Folsom tomorrow; I have business training there (no prison visits unfortunately).  I hope to produce at least one post while I'm down there but internet connection in a hotel room has been known to be spotty at best and tethering to my phone can be even worse.

I helped my little sister move back up to Olympia for college this weekend and I got some (decent) pictures to share but I left the camera up there.  I'll have those shots by the end of next week hopefully.  That little bout of absent mindedness did leave me bereft of a post for today however.  But as I looked through my closet for clothing to pack I looked at my vests.
I love vests, be they of the suit or sweater variety.  They can make a simple shirt and jeans combo look dressy, or they can cover up an ill ironed shirt.  The latter is my favorite.  I hate ironing shirts.  No matter how hard I try I always get frustrated eventually.  With a vest all you have to do is make sure your collar and sleeves look good.  Not only that but you can tie a huge double Windsor tie knot without worrying about the length of your tie.
If you'll recall from one of my previous posts, one of the difficulties with buying shirts lies in the fact that you can often only choose two of three qualities: correct length, correct width, or correct arm length.  With a vest you can scratch the arm length and focus on making sure that your vest fits snugly (without being so tight as to pull at the buttons), and making sure that it comes down to your belt.  The rest of a vest's many style options are up to you.  I personally prefer more buttons to less, but that also means more buttons that can fall off.
In short, (TL:DR) a vest is a perfect option to either class up your casual outfit, or add to your already dapper outfit as an added flair.  They've been around for a long time and probably won't go anywhere and bonus! they're in style right now.  Chances are, anywhere they sell men's dress clothes you'll find a vest.  So go forth and gird your chest with pinstripes or solids, plaids or cords and look dapper as hell.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Meanwhile, at a civil war reenactment...

Real post tonight or tomorrow.

Photo courtesy of VixenVintage.   Totally not shopped.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

And Now....

Rinse and repeat each year or so.

Monday, September 19, 2011

J.T. Already Brought Sexy Back...All the Good Ideas Are Taken

My new car makes for a terrible mirror.  I'm totally wearing a tie, I promise.

It has been . . .1.25 years since my last post.  A lot has happened since then.  Doctor Who has come back with a bang, albeit with plot twists more convoluted than my box of cables.  Dear god . . . I try not to think about it.  The box of cables that is.  I got a new job as an HMI designer for a company called Russell Automation.  None of that will make sense to any of you I think; I'm not even sure exactly what I do and I've been here for over half a year.  I got a new car (brand new, which means I have dug a huge pit into which  I can throw my hard earned money).  I've spent accumulative months in Southern California on business where I see a complete lack of effort put into clothes.  California Casual.  Hold on, I need to go rinse my mouth out.

I think one of the pennies is falling out.

All things considered I have a much better opportunity now to buy and wear nice clothes.  With my subscription to Esquire and Fall sprinting towards us I feel armed and ready to impart my wisdom (most of it is just well scripted arrogance) to you, the reader(s).  While I cannot promise a regular posting schedule as I work twice as many hours as before, I can say that I spend all day on the computer, so the stars seem suitably aligned for blog post conjuration.

Did I close the web browser in my office before I went outside?

Two days ago, I, along with the help of my lovely wife, went through my closet and began systematically throwing away (not literally) clothes that don't fit.  This left my closet bare and dejected.  If this was anything it was a good thing.  The pitfall of dressing well is that it becomes very easy to wear clothes that make a man look anything but dapper as hell.  Ill fitting clothes can do one of two things: make him look as though he's a pubescent teen wearing his father's clothing, or a pubescent teen wearing clothes that should have been thrown away the moment he started getting taller.  Most of my closet consisted of the former.  As a 6'2" man weighing at most 150 pounds I am what you would call a 'beanpole'.  I certainly don't mean to sound sorry for myself as heroin-chic is still very much 'in', but lord it takes a lot of money to find clothes that fit.  Most of the time.

On Sunday I went shopping in Portland.  I went to more stores than I have ever done before, in search of perfect clothes.  While one of my favorite quotes by Tolkien reads: "There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something.  You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after", is a wonderful sentiment for the great mysteries of life, it sucks when you're trying to find clothes.  I will say now that if I had the money, I would be wearing nothing but Hugo Boss.  Nothing else seems to hang as well as that stuff did right off the hanger.  Until I find a tailor I will have to settle with cardigans instead of blazers.  The most profitable venture was H&M, the IKEA of clothing.  There I found three shirts that fit almost perfectly (pictures soon).  Scratch one thing off my list.  That left: wingtips, one blazer, trousers.  Of those three I managed to find a beautiful pair of wingtip shoes (with tassels!) at a vintage shop by the name of Ray's Ragtime (also pictures soon).

My "Who are you and why are you taking my picture?" face.
Shortly after looking at the picture I suffered an existential crisis.

My closet, a little fuller now, is beginning to mature as I pretend to do.  Over the course of the year I hope to acquire all that I desire.  I also hope to provide whatever readers I may have with sarcastic anecdotes, pictures taken either on my phone or my co-worker's camera (the hypocrisy of asking my wife to take my pictures is more than my tender male ego could handle), and what I think is useful advice for any man who wants to look above the cut.  So, until next time, remember that it takes a lot of work to be Dapper as Hell, but women (and men) will be throwing themselves at you as though your core was super dense and generated a gravitational field.

This is a Panphin.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Just watched the new and final episode of Doctor Who season 5 and, as season finales go, I was quite impressed. Without spoiling anything, attention is drawn to his suspenders and his bow-tie, both of which are fantastic. I am so happy that the modern Doctor Who has taken a change from a series rife with sexual tension in the companion to one that involves a boyfriend and girlfriend travelling with an eccentric alien. See, that was somewhat how the show originated. Except it was the Doctor's granddaughter and two of her schoolteachers. I wonder how that would play out today.
Alors, summer is in full swing now, and our AC is working! Huzzahs are in order. Clothing is becoming more difficult to talk about, given that less is considerably better than more. I suppose I am in the minority when I saw that cargo shorts are overused and really not all that impressive. Everyone wears them, they have a bunch of pockets that make your legs look they're infested with tumors, and they all come in beige. The wonderful thing about shorts is that they're like pants but shorter. Hence the name. My own recommendation for summer wear involves chino shorts and fitted button shirts.
Seersucker, madras, club, really any short style that aren't named after Daisy Duke or have more pockets than anyone could fathom. Really, most of our pants don't have more than four pockets so why is it that in the summertime we suddenly need 12? What are we carrying?
Another option for shorts are cutoffs. No, not nevernude cuttoffs. Not daisy dukes. One of my favorite pairs of pants recently got sizable holes in the knees so I cut them down at the knees and made some well fitting shorts. At some point I'll get Solanah to hem them, but more likely than not I'll just wear them as is, because I feel like a pirate. Most of the shorts I have owned in the past five years have been cutoffs. I make less money in the summer but I want to stay cool. Scissors solve so many problems.
In closing I would just like to say that summer means less clothing but it does not mean less quality. Because you have fewer options it just means that the items you pick are going to
have to be more meaningful. Grab your favorite pair of shorts, combine them with a dress shirt and a fedora and you have a summer look that makes you look classy. If you happen to smoke a pipe well then...forget about it.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Cardigan: Like Sweatpants but You Can Wear Them Grocery Shopping

Wait...people wear sweat pants to the grocery store? Oh God!

Hiatus; Doctor Who took one during 2009, most shows take them over the summer, Spider-Man has tried to take one numerous times (but crime doesn't sleep, nor do radioactive spider powers), Captain America "died" only to come back as steve, and now I too return, ready and raring for work. Funny anecdote: I now have full availability for work and my hours have been slashed like so many ladies of the evening under Jack the Ripper's 'regime'. Something out there has a sense of humor. It's refreshing.
Summer is upon us, or so people tell me. For those of you unfamiliar with this so called 'summer' that makes up the Pacific Northwest, it has been raining almost nonstop for days. So I thought about the perfect piece of clothing for this transitory stage with hot rain and cold sun; the cardigan. It may be my favorite addition to my ensemble since the first one I bought, made of cotton and thin enough to pass as a long sleeved T-shirt beneath my work clothes. Nothing speaks of class quite like coming home from work, exhausted and defeated to take of your shoes, put on slippers and toss on a cardigan Mr. Rogers style.

During any given day, when I'm tired and don't feel like working on my outfit very hard, or when I need to warm up a little bit, I put on my beige cardigan over my button up shirts and bam! Dapper as Hell. It's like a sweater only easier to take on and off, which is perfect for unpredictable summer weather. Light cardigans can been worn over T-shirts with funny pictures on them, so that the frivolity of your outfit is still visible but not uncouth (uh oh, double couth a word? Spellcheck says no. Huh, spellcheck is also not a word).
My suggestion for a summer outfit: Cotton Chinos, boater shoes, white oxford with colorful sock tie, and a well fitting cotton cardigan, preferably in neutral tones so as not to detract from the tie. Oh and don't forget the straw fedora. Or, for those of you who saw the Doctor Who episode with Vincent Van Gogh (perhaps my favorite one so far), a hat like dear old Vincent's.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Be Back In Five

A new post is coming soon I promise. I started this blog just a tad too early, what with school still going and whatnot. So in about a week and a half I'll be back on the gravy train that is blogging, provided that by gravy train I mean a train I am adhesed (I conjugate verbs into being!) to by gravy. I'll be going back into full time writing, part time working. The writer's hours are rough, often misspent looking at cats on the internet or curled up in a ball, but I will overcome! And I'll be damned if men's fashion is going to go by the wayside, because let's face it, we're in trouble America. In trouble because people don't understand how much trouble they're in. In trouble because men think one outfit forever solves everything. It's high time someone stepped in to show them the way, and although I pulled a bit of a Bruce Wayne there, disappearing for a time, I have honed my martial writing skills and will return--a little crazy and with a gravely voice, but also with some insightful tips for summer, and for living a life that screams "Dapper as Hell!"